Keanu Reeves aims at "Shooter"
by Michael Fleming
NEW YORK (Variety) - Hot off his role in current box office champ "The Matrix," Keanu Reeves is in line for a career-best $15 million salary to play a sniper in "Shooter."
Reeves would also get a healthy share of the profits from the film, which Paramount is targeting for a start date late in the year, after he finishes the gridiron movie "The Replacements."
He would play Bobby Lee Swaggart, a master sniper who exiled himself to the Arkansas hills after mistakenly causing the death of an innocent person. Finally lured out of his reclusive life to help prevent an assassination, he gets double-crossed, leaving him hunted for murder and trying to guess who sold him out and why.
The film is based on "Point of Impact," a 1993 Bantam novel by StephenHunter, film critic for the Washington Post. First adapted by Nick Kazan, it was once eyed as a starring vehicle for Robert Redford, but the trigger never got pulled.
Reeves, who first showed himself to be a bankable leading man with 1994's "Speed," has made more right moves than wrong, and his salary continues to rise. He sidestepped the "Speed 2" debacle for "The Devil's Advocate," then moved to his current success in "The Matrix," the year's top-grossing film to date with a 12-day tally of $73 million.
He got paid a $12.5 million salary for Warner Bros.' "The Replacements" and is in line for 12.5% of the gross profits.